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  • Oct 2007
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Manresa

 320 Village Ln
Los Gatos, CA
 

very disappointing. went here for an...

very disappointing. went here for an anniversary dinner. had heard it was expensive but worth it, but sadly, it was just expensive, and we left the restaurant hungrier than when we came!

it was the classically bad fine dining experience – the food was a little too intellectual with miserly portions. we were hungry throughout the meal and nothing really delivered. we had gotten the wine pairings with our meal as well, and they were really, really stingy with the pours as well (maybe 2 oz of liquid at best). would recommend bringing your own bottle and eating the corkage fee ($30), although i have to say they had a wide variety of unusual wines from different regions around the world. so if that’s your thing, you’ll get that, at least. i was hoping for the opportunity to actually see how the wine pairs with the dish instead of worrying about drinking it all with the first mouthful.

if i had to sum up the experience i would say that the food was artfully crafted and well-presented, but was a little too experimental for me, and the portions were really not sufficient at all. it’s probably a place to go when you’ve eaten everywhere else already and are tired of the same old thing. but still, i can’t imagine myself eating this stuff over and over – if i went again, i have no idea what i’d order differently. it’s a fun place to try, but be prepared to drop some serious cash for that privilege.

we had ordered the 4 course meal with regular wine pairings, and gotten 1 app, 2 savories and a dessert. in retrospect, i should have ordered 3 or maybe even 4 savories.

i had:
garden greens veloute with foie gras
bone in roast monkfish
dry age been strip
jasmine flower custard

my gf had:
garden greens veloute
black cod
farm poularde
spring carrot pudding

in addition to this they also bring out:
oyster w/some caviar
farm egg

the oyster was great – well balanced, not too fishy. farm egg was very good – masterfully cooked and presented.

garden greens veloute was nice and velvety, but it had a sourness to it that just made my mouth pucker. it was an interesting presentation but something in the veloute just killed it for me. couldn’t really taste the richness of the foie gras either, which is what i was craving.

the monkfish was decent, not very memorable. my gf’s black cod was much the same. i probably don’t remember it because i only had literally 5 bites of it and it was all gone.

the beef strip was good, but i could tell that the restaurant’s strengths lay in other dishes. i was definitely eyeing my gf’s poularde – a very interesting presentation of chicken, sweetbreads and other things rolled up. again, though, there was a max of 6 bites and that was it.

my dessert was good as well, and my gf enjoyed hers but there was something odd about it as well – these weird crispy bits that really stood out and didn’t complement anything.

now that i’m writing this i’m realizing that i actually did like the majority of my dishes, but it’s more of an intellectual enjoyment rather than a more visceral physical enjoyment. my first reaction is more like, oh, that dish was interesting because of x,y,z instead of damn, that was tasty.

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